Merrill family reflects two years after tornado - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Merrill family reflects two years after tornado

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MERRILL (WAOW) -

It's been two years since a devastating tornado ripped through Merrill and destroyed many homes and businesses.

"You can see all the debris, that's a path that goes back to the woods," said Kathryn Lee.

   

Kathryn Lee was in the middle of the storm, when an EF3 tornado touched down in Merrill two years ago.

"The pressure was terrible, on your ears, we were sitting down in the basement, you just couldn't hardly hear, it was just, unbelievable," said Lee.

The tornado was one of 15 across the state, part of a major outbreak.

It destroyed her home of 52 years.

"You look at that and think wow," said Lee.

Her son and grandson, who lived next door, rushed to help.

"We both just started running and we got over here, there's stuff laying up against their door, like their roof had collapsed onto their door," said Brandon Lee.

Her neighborhood, on Row Road, suffered widespread damage.

"There's the car sitting in what's left of the garage, but the walls are gone, the roof is gone and the car looked like it went through a war or something," said Lee.

Lee said they tried to salvage what remained.

"We wanted to save our furniture, but they said you shouldn't, because it was so full of insulation and glass," said Lee.

As they worked to rebuild their lives, she said they got help they didn't expect.

"It was amazing, we even had people from out of town, come and help our construction crew when we started rebuilding," said Lee.

Now, their home is rebuilt, but Lee said it will be a long time before things are back to normal.

"We had tons of big trees around and they're all gone, we're starting over, everything's little, you can see," said Lee.

She said she feels lucky her family survived and was given the chance to rebuild.

But, she said it's an experience she'll never forget.

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